Monday, June 15, 2015

Rosie the Riveter Myth

"The Myth of Rosie the Riveter” was the subject of a presentation by James Kimble at the Seward Library this evening. Dr. Kimble is a communications Professor at Seaton Hall in New Jersey. He told of the popular impression that this was an FDR, WWII symbol for encouraging women into factory production. In reality, it was produced by Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller for the Westinnghouse Company. The poster was only displayed in the Westinghouse factories for a two-week period in February of 1943. Some 40 years later it surfaced and became famous associated with feminism and was mistakenly called “Rosie The Riveter”; many myths emerged as to who the Model may have been. While it was thought for years to be a Michigan factory worker named Geraldine Hoff (Doyle), Kimble and a partner have discovered persuasive evidence that it was actually a lady from California who is still alive. Kimble has spent years tracking down the myths and searching for the “truth”.  While his efforts are commendable, I jotted in my notes during his presentation that, “What we believe to be real is often more real than what is”.

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